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Premiering in Six North American Cities March 15 with Proceeds to be Donated to Red Cross Humanitarian Crisis Appeal Fund to Benefit Ukraine and National Bank of Ukraine Fund

Same Crates Used to Protect Shevchenko's Work from Nazi Invasion in 1941 Are Used Again


The seventh day of war dawns on Ukraine as invading Russian forces continue to encounter fierce resistance. Amidst the bombardments and firefights, workers at the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko crate away valuable pieces of artwork in the exact same containers used to shield them from invading Nazi forces in 1941 to hide the valuable national artwork from the invading Russian Military forces as gunfire erupts just down the street. An artist, poet, writer and political activist of the mid 19th century, Shevchenko was known for expressing themes of Ukrainian oppression by the Russian government in his art.

Emboldened to assist Ukraine with its ongoing crisis, Lighthouse Immersive, the producers of Immersive Van Gogh, is currently arranging to have an existing immersive exhibit celebrating the work of Ukrainian artist, poet, philosopher and public figure, Taras Shevchenko, brought to North America. IMMERSIVE SHEVCHENKO: SOUL OF UKRAINE will be available for viewing beginning March 15 in Toronto, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, with all proceeds from ticket sales going directly to Red Cross and National Bank of Ukraine Fund. Ticket buyers may select which charity to allocate their contribution to.

In 2021, Ukraine-born Lighthouse Immersive Associate Producer Valeriy Kostyuk, working with a Ukraine-based team including Producer Natalia Delieva, Creative Director Tais Poda, Composer Timur Polyansky, and Curator-Consultant Dmytro Stus, developed and launched an immersive exhibit of Shevchenko's work in Odesa. Kostyuk sought to apply the artistry and innovation that Lighthouse Immersive practiced with Vincent Van Gogh to one of Ukraine's most beloved cultural figures. He was able to work with the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko in Kyiv to obtain access to their collection of paintings, resulting in a one-of-a-kind sensory experience that President Zelensky himself visited before the war began. Now, Lighthouse Immersive is working with the Ukrainian producers in Kyiv and Odesa to bring the exhibit to North America so they can share Ukrainian art and culture with audiences abroad while raising funds for a righteous cause.

"I always wanted to find a way to use my experiences producing in North America to promote Ukrainian artists," comments Kostyuk. "Ukrainian culture is as beautiful and moving and important as the culture of any other country in the world, and Shevchenko is, in many ways, a father of the independent Ukrainian nation. I have been moved and inspired beyond words by the endurance and resilience of the Ukrainian people in this moment and I am deeply thankful to the incredible team in Ukraine who partnered with me on this project, as well as to the producers at Lighthouse Immersive for standing with me in this moment."

"As the people of Ukraine, with freedom in their DNA, continue to stand strong against this grave threat together with the free world, it is important to remember everything we are fighting for is to protect our values," said Andrii Bukvych, Chargé d'Affaires of Ukraine in Canada. "Ukraine is a culturally rich nation with a storied history, a part of European heritage, and it is encouraging to see the art of one of Ukraine's most prominent cultural icons being appreciated by audiences on the other side of the world. It is important for the global community to know what is at stake, and what is under attack."

"Like millions around the world, we feel shocked and helpless in the face of what Ukraine is experiencing right now, and I happen to have a particular lens on this with core members of our team being from and with family in Ukraine," says Lighthouse Immersive Producer Corey Ross. "On behalf of the entire company, I am grateful to have the opportunity to bring this show here and to be able to help in any way I can."

Taras Shevchenko (March 9, 1814 – March 10, 1861) is largely considered a cultural trailblazer of the independent Ukrainian nation. Born a serf, Shevchenko was freed in 1838 while a student at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art. A master of Ukrainian painting and graphic art, and a spiritual leader, Shevchenko was the founder of critical realism and the folk element in Ukrainian fine arts. Shevchenko's creative output primarily reflected the socio-political reality of the Ukrainian people of that period and largely expressed themes of Ukrainian oppression by the Russian government and calls for Ukrainian liberation.

Tickets for IMMERSIVE SHEVCHENKO: SOUL OF UKRAINE are on sale now at

About Lighthouse Immersive: Lighthouse Immersive brings together two of Toronto's preeminent production companies – Starvox Entertainment, Canada's fastest growing live entertainment company responsible for bringing hit shows like The Art of Banksy to Toronto, and Show One Productions, a full-service production company presenting concerts with high-profile classical musicians, opera stars and orchestras – to bring the world premiere of IMMERSIVE VAN GOGH, IMMERSIVE FRIDA KAHLO and IMMERSIVE KLIMT: REVOLUTION over a dozen North American cities. Working directly with the Italian masters of immersive digital art and other leading global creators, Lighthouse Immersive has custom-designed all exhibits to distinctly envelop the various architectural settings they inhabit.

In the last year, the Canadian company has announced or opened new galleries in 20 U.S. cities including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City and Orlando. To date, Lighthouse Immersive has sold over 4.5 million tickets to IMMERSIVE VAN GOGH across North America, with Artnet recently commenting on the wave of immersive galleries, calling it "one of the largest coordinated art phenomena of all time."

About Russian aggression in Ukraine: On February 24th, 2022, Russian troops crossed Ukraine's borders from the territory of Russia, Belarus and the temporarily occupied parts of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk regions and Crimea. At the same time, Russia Is assaulting Ukraine from the East, South, North (including the territory of Belarus) by air.

Russia's missiles are now aimed at destroying infrastructure. They targeted the radioactive waste disposal site near Kyiv (no leaks detected so far), a gas pipeline in Kharkiv and a fuel base in Vasylkiv (Kyiv region). The levels of ecological threat and toxic contamination are being assessed). Fuel and gas stations around the country continue to be targeted by Russian missiles.

Russian missiles continue to fall on civilians and their homes while Russian tanks attempt to force their way into Ukraine's capital. According to the UN data, as the result of the war, 677,000 Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes and to move abroad. It is the most horrific time for Kyiv since 1941 when the city was attacked by Nazi Germany.

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